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Charlotte Amalie is the capital and largest city in the United States Virgin Islands. It has a total population of about 20,000 inhabitants and is located on the southcoast of the island of Saint Thomas. Apart from being the administrative capital, it is mainly known for its deep-water harbor and many cruise ship use Charlotte Amalie as a port of call, with 1,5 to 2 million cruise ship passengers docking here annualy. Also, Charlotte Amalie is of some cultural signifance as well, with many buildings of historical importance and it is also home to the second-oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. Apart from the cruise ships, there are many crossings by ferry to nearby places on Saint Thomas as well as other island in the USVI and the British Virgin Islands and even Puerto Rico.
You can easily find some influence of the Danish colonists that were here some centuries ago. The red roofs of the houses are a very colourful match with the green environment and the capital itself is named after the wife of the Danish King Christian V. There is also a nice small harbor and the Emancipation Gardens Park where people celebrate Carinval. From here you can take ferries to the other islands of the American and British Virgin Islands. It is also a tax free town with enough shopping if that is your thing.
Fort Christian with its typical red bricks is located near the town and is the oldest colonial building in the Virgin Islands and dates back to 1666. Since then, the fort has functioned as a bastion, jail, governor's residence and even a Lutheran church. Today, like many forts in the Caribbean, it functions as a museum which has some interesting historical exhibits.
Charlotte Amalie has a very pleasant and tropical climate with generally warm and humid weather. The seabreeze makes things relatively mild though and water is never far away. Temperatures generally average around 30 °C during the day yearround and 23 °C at night. December to May is the dry season, where July to October is the rainy season, but this generally means some showers at the end of the day instead of days of rain on end. Hurricanes are possible though from August to October.
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Cyril E. King Airport (STT), 3 kilometres from Charlotte Amalie, is the main gateway.
About 10-15 airlines serve the island directly from places like San Juan, Boston, Miami, New York, Atlanta, Anguilla, Antigua, Saint Kitts, Sint Maarten, Montreal, Fort Lauderdale, Saint Croix, Virgin Gorda, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Chicago, Charlotte, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C..
There is a bus service from Charlotte Amalie to Red Hook and Bordeaux.
To and from British Virgin Islands
From Road Town on the British Virgin Islands there are ferries about every 50 minutes to Charlotte Amalie on St Thomas. There are also two ferry operators offering service between Charlotte Amalie and Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.
Passenger ferries operate between Charlotte Amalie and the island of St. John (Cruz Bay).
There is also a ferry between Christiansted, St. Croix and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. The ferry departs from the Marine Terminals in Gallows Bay on St. Croix and in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas, taking about 75 minutes to travel between the two towns. Check the Virgin Island Fast Ferry website for details about prices and schedules.
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